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Graduate Students win Summer Research Awards

Ten School of Music students have earned Summer Research Fellowships.
July 16, 2020

Grad Fellowship Winners

Grad Fellowship Winners
Graduate Summer Research Fellowship Winners (top row: Momcilo Aleksandric, Jeffrey Hanson, Ryan Rowe; bottom row: Alyssa Becker, Ines Guanchez)

The School of Music is pleased to announce that ten graduate students have been awarded Summer Research Fellowships. These students are researching topics covering a wide range of subjects from American Indian opera to Polish art songs. The research funds help with incidental costs, such as travel to collections and website design, which can strain a student’s budget.  

Several students are working on research projects involving important historical musical figures. Momcilo Aleksandric, (DMA guitar performance), is studying the solo works of famous guitar composer Fernando Sor. Aleksandric says that in the classical guitar world, Sor is “equally important as Beethoven,” and that nobody has been able to complete serious research about the composer. 

Jeffrey Hanson (PhD musicology) is spending his summer research looking into the opera Shanewis: The Robin Woman (1918) and the relationship between the composers and the performers of the opera, including their star performer Tsianina Redfeather Blackstone (Creek, Cherokee). He says that the relationship between ethnographers, music academics, and singers/songwriters of the early 20th century were messy and often led to inaccurate mistranslations of American Indian song, passed off as authentic songs. His work will also examine those songs and their cultural repercussions.

Ryan Rowe (MM vocal performance) is creating an online resource for those who perform Polish art songs. The website will initially include twelve composers and ten poets in the Romantic era. Unique aspects of the planned website include Polish lyric dictation resources and notes such as biographies and composition essays.
Alyssa Becker (DMA, vocal performance) is exploring the respiratory kinematics of broadway singing. She hopes to better understand the differences between breathing during legit and belting singing styles, and how that compares to operatic singing. One of the main goals of her research is to help voice teachers learn about the different styles of singing and their physiology so that they can structure their teaching methods on the styles that they're teaching. 
Ines Guanchez (MM, piano performance, MA mass communication) plans to showcase the music of female classical music composers through a live streamed performance in the Foyer of the National Theater of Costa Rica. She is partnering with Sofia Schutte (BM, violin) for the performance. They hope to give audiences in rural Costa Rica, who might not be able to travel to their National Theater, the opportunity to experience a performance there with professional recording equipment. By showcasing female composers like Amy Beach, Clara Wieck Schumann, and Lili Boulanger, she hopes to inspire young girls to engage with classical music. 

The complete list of students who have won fellowships for their summer research include Momcilo Aleksandric (DMA guitar performance), Alyssa Becker (DMA voice), Hon Ki Cheung (PhD music theory), Ines Guanchez (MM piano), Jeffrey Hanson (PhD musicology), Scott Iseminger (PhD music education), Christopher McGinley (DMA choral conducting), Zachary Ploeger (DMA trumpet), Ryan Rowe (MM voice), and Vinay Thomas (MM choral conducting). 

Students, are you working on a project that you would like to have featured? Share your project with us here.